What Is Emotional Intelligence? A Brief History

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. It can be divided into ability EI and trait EI. Criticisms have centered on whether EI is a real intelligence and whether it has incremental validity over IQ and the Big Five personality traits. The Big Five personality traits are five broad dimensions of personality that are used to describe human personality. The theory based on the Big Five factors is called the Five Factor Model (FFM).The Big Five factors are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

What is Emotional Intelligence? A brief History of  “Emotional Intelligence”
Brief History of Emotional Intelligence
An info graphic
about “Emotional Intelligence” by davittcorporatepartners.com

Salovey and Mayer proposed a model that identified four different factors of emotional intelligence: Perceiving Emotions, Reasoning With Emotions, Understanding Emotions and Managing Emotions. According to Salovey and Mayer, the four branches of their model are, “arranged from more basic psychological processes to higher, more psychologically integrated processes. For example, the lowest level branch concerns the simple abilities of perceiving and expressing emotion. In contrast, the highest level branch concerns the conscious, reflective regulation of emotion”.

For most people, emotional intelligence (EQ) is more important than one’s intelligence (IQ) in attaining success in their lives and careers. As individuals our success and the success of the profession today depend on our ability to read other people’s signals and react appropriately to them. Therefore, each one of us must develop the mature emotional intelligence skills required to better understand, empathize and negotiate with other people — particularly as the economy has become more global. Otherwise, success will elude us in our lives and careers.

Howard Gardner, the influential Harvard theorist said, “Your EQ is the level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work cooperatively with them”.